100 Days of Happy

28 Aug
Drink the Wild Air

Drink the Wild Air :: Vermont

Lately, I’ve seen an awful lot of gratitude and happiness #100happydays hashtags on the social medias.  I have to say, the 100 days of happy challenge is refreshing, for more than one reason.

First of all, being battered by constant negativity is bad for your mental and emotional health.  If your Facebook feed is filled with haters, it’s going to affect you.  That was a lesson I learned early in life.  When I surrounded myself with sarcasm and glass half full kind of people, it was harder to see the reasons to laugh.  When I moved towards people bubbling with optimism, suddenly anything seemed possible.  Not to say I don’t appreciate some solid sarcasm and dry humor…I do.  But I much prefer to hold onto happiness where I can.

This past week a good friend of mine lost her horse and all of us barn girls felt the pain of it.  It was an animal we had all worked with, loved and enjoyed watching them bloom together.  They had been in each other’s lives almost as long as we had all been friends.

With any loss, though, comes the negative side of life.  Pain.  Bitterness.  Blame.

None of us wanted that for our friend.  The grieving process is hard.  If we were in a logical frame of mind during our hard times, we would never chose to make it worse on ourselves…but so often, we do just that.  If you aren’t in the habit of happiness, it’s easy to fall into the trap of negativity.

We all encouraged our friend as best we could, and will continue to do so for the next few weeks. Point out the positives.  Smile.  Laugh.  Remember the good memories.  Be grateful for the time you had and the experiences that shape us.

Maybe the 100 happy days challenge isn’t your thing…you’re not a hashtagger by nature.  But the lesson is applicable to all of our lives.  Our perception of a situation almost always affects our reaction.  If you view something as overwhelming, its easy to feel helpless.  However, if you make an effort to make the best of something, it’s much easier to find your happy place.

You can face things out of your control without acting out of control.  In fact, one of the few things in life you can control is your reaction to life.  So ask yourself, would you prefer to wallow?  Or would you prefer to shine?

Train yourself to appreciate, to be grateful, to smile and to laugh.  It won’t always be easy.  Generally speaking, life is hard.  But you will get so much more out of it if you let go of the small stuff and embrace the blessings that comes your way, however big or small those blessings happen to be.

As my buddy Nick used to say, “Live Life :: Love Life”. 🙂

So…this is really kinda sorta a photography blog.  Why did I choose that particular photo for this soap box speech?  Because it makes me happy. haha  I printed up for the winner of our quotes project, Marie and loved the way it turned out.  I felt pride that the effort I put into the image came through in the print.  I loved the feeling it gave me when I looked at it.  It was, in a nutshell, a smile-maker.  And I wanted to make you guys smile. 🙂

Enjoy your holiday weekend, friends!  Next week we a revealing a super cool collaborative project, so stay tuned!

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2 Responses to “100 Days of Happy”

  1. Trish Lechman August 28, 2014 at 7:49 pm #

    So sad to hear about the lost horse, is there no hope of finding him at all? And Facebook is toxic!! Best to deactivate it! And the 100 happy days challenge is awesome, just as any daily gratitude challenges. Great shot too 🙂

  2. Justin Avery (J.T. Avery Photography) August 29, 2014 at 3:21 pm #

    Every once and awhile I think about things I wish I could be doing or something I want to do but don’t have the time to do. I don’t make it a habit though because if I thought like that all the time, I’d never feel happy. I have learned that life is about balancing what we need to do with what we want to do and to make the best of it. Sure it would be nice to go through life always getting to do what we want, but for most of us that is not a reality. I think it is important to think about what you do have and what you can do to make the best of it. I constantly think about the things that can make me happy with the limitations I have. Overall, I am happy with my job which is nice considering that’s where I spend the bulk of my time. I’m happy with my home life and my hobbies. I have learned that I can’t always control what I can do with my time, so I always think of the positives for the moment and make the best of it. My wife seems to be the opposite of me but I think without me, she’d probably have a hard time being happy and she doesn’t have any negative effect on me so I look at it in a way to keep showing her things to be happy about rather than let her bring me down. I really like this post and think about what life should be about all the time. If you can’t be happy with your life, then you should do something about it to make it better, not just give up. That’s what I have done. I also think that photography has helped a lot in keeping me happy as well as it’s provided many more things to come into my life. 🙂

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